Surrey Hants Borders

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Finally – Our Pubs are open again

Monday 31 May 2021

Monday May 17th was a long time coming, certainly for me. The reopening of pubs on 12th April for outside drinking was very welcome, it would have been a lot better if we had last year’s glorious spring weather. I spent a few afternoons sitting under the large canopy in the garden of the Crown in Horsell watching the raindrops falling. I worried that my beer was being diluted on its journey from bar to table! Pubs were generally unable to stay open into the evening, a few hardy customers may have been willing to brave the chill but most had retreated to the comfort of home. Of course there were a lot of pubs that were unable to open in April as they had little or no outside space, some others felt that it just wasn’t viable to open just for outside drinking.

Although it has been wonderful to get back inside pubs we are still not allowed to walk around without a mask and ordering a pint at the bar is still definitely not allowed. Some pubs ask you to order via an app on your mobile phone, this can be a problem for those who don’t own a suitable phone or don’t want to use such technology. In other pubs you need to wait for a passing member of staff to take your order and then wait expectantly for your pint, hoping that it arrives full and hasn’t been spilt on the journey.

Many landlords have reported that business has been quiet, customers aren’t returning in their droves. I hope that if you are reading this you enjoy a good pint and have visited a pub. Our pubs are community hubs serving their locals and need our support, if you haven’t visited your local yet I ask you to take a wander down and enjoy a pint or two.

Ian Johnson Chairman Surrey Hampshire Border Branch CAMRA